CRISPR

Cas9 Gene Drive, Sex-Conversion and Evolved Resistance

In a recent manuscript, KaramiNejadRanjbar et al. demonstrate the development of a proof of principle Cas9-based suppression gene drive in D. melanogaster that can be applied to pest insects, and discuss the implications of resistance allele formation for practical use […]

ReMOT control delivery technology holds promise for CRISPR-Cas9 activity independent of embryonic injection

A new report in Nature Communications by Chaverra-Rodriguez et al. details a novel Cas9-delivery approach for insect genetic modification. In their work, Chaverra-Rodriguez et al introduce a technology they term “ReMOT control”, or Receptor-Mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo. In their […]

Efficient CRISPR/Cas9 Knockout of vermillion in Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)

  Perera et al. (2018) recently used CRISPR/Cas gene editing in Helicoverpa zea, a lepidopteran pest of many crops. The authors showed positive correlations between different concentrations of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and Cas9 protein with mutation percentage of the vermillion […]

Precise and Efficient Nucleotide Substitution Via Noncanonical Homology-directed Repair.

In a recent paper in Genome Research Nakajima et al. 2018 propose an efficient gene editing strategy by nucleotide substitution that overcomes three general problems associated with current methods. First, indels caused by the traditional Cas9-induced Double Strand Breaks (DSB), […]

Redkmer – a computational tool to identify X-linked targets for CRISPR-based sex distortion in insects

In the inaugural volume of The CRISPR Journal, Philippos Papathanos and Nikolai Windbichler describe a computational pipeline they call redkmer, which identifies repetitive CRIPSR target sites for X-shredding systems in insects. Back in 2007, Windbichler et al. found that the […]

A Protocol for the Highly Efficient Generation of Stable Mosquito Knockout Lines Using CRISPR/Cas9

In their recent paper in G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, Li et al. describe a highly efficient protocol for the generation of stable knockout lines using CRISPR/Cas9. The ability of effectively targeting and disrupting gene function is essential for gene functional analysis studies […]

Recreating tra-2 Alleles in D. suzukii

Li and Handler (2017) have recently reported using CRISPR/Cas9 to make a temperature-sensitive transformer-2 (tra-2) allele in the pest species Drosophila suzukii by mutating the nucleotides orthologous to the Drosophila melanogaster tra-2ts2 allele. This study demonstrates an important proof of […]

Advances in CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing in Drosophila Lead the Way for Applications in Other Insects.

In the January edition of FlyBook (Genetics) Bier et al. review the recent advances in CRISPR/Cas technologies applied to the fruit fly, delving into the details of established and cutting-edge methods and their potential applications to future studies in this […]

IGTRCN 2018 Technical Workshop – July 22-27

2018 IGTRCN Technical Short Course on Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice July 22 – 27, 2018 The Insect Transformation Facility Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research University of Maryland College Park Applications by April 2, 2018 (24 seats available) […]

Somatic Mutagenesis as a Powerful Functional Genomics Tool in Insects

Two recent papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are notable examples of using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create somatic mutants to probe gene function.  Mazo-Varga et. al (2017) and Zhang et al. (2017). Both studies explore […]

Will CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Drives Spread and How Could They Be Prevented From Doing So?

In an interesting paper published in PNAS, Tanaka, Stone and Nelson (2017) explore the potential for spatial spread of CRISPR/Cas9 gene drives. The authors examine a continuous time, spatial generalisation of the CRISPR/Cas9 population genetics model published by Unckless et […]

Strategies for Driving Out Invasive Species

Prowse et al. (2017) present their modelling work in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B on various different CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drives aimed at suppressing populations of exotic vertebrate species on islands (focusing on mice (Mus musculus)).  The issues addressed […]

Trojan Female Technique: Mitochondria-based population suppression.

The ‘Trojan Female Technique” is a genetics-based population suppression strategy.  Wolff et al.(2017) report results of empirical tests of the idea using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system and show net population suppression. Genetics-based pest control strategies are becoming increasingly […]

Cas9 Mutagenesis in Houseflies Confirms Male Determining Factor Identification

Sharma et al. (2107) report in a recent issue of Science the identification of a male determining factor in the housefly Musca domestica and provide convincing reverse genetic confirmatory evidence using dsRNA-mediated gene silencing and Cas9-mediated mutagenesis. Alternative splicing of […]

Call for Sweeping Moratorium on Gene Drive Research and Application at UN Biodiversity Conference

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is currently holding their Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico.  Monday 160 organizations from six continents released a statement calling for a global moratorium on all work on gene drives, including laboratory research.   The […]

Genetically Modified Plant-Feeding Insects: A DARPA Project

When transgenic mosquito technology was being developed an idea was floated to use genetically modified mosquitoes as flying syringes to deliver important antigens to immunize people against various pathogens.  Informed consent among other things made this an overly complex problem […]

Loss of Function Mutations – Approaches, Limitations

Technologies are democratizing insect genetics and it seems as if everyone is thinking about making ‘knockouts’.  This is a good thing but as Housden et al. nicely explain in a recent paper in Nature Reveiws Genetics explain: “although LOF (loss […]

CRISPR-SD, a programmable Cas9 approach to generating X-shredder lines in insects with XY mating systems

In a recent paper in Scientific Reports, Galizi, Hammond, et al report on the use of CRISPR-Cas9 to develop a sex-distortion system in Anopheles gambiae, which they termed CRISPRSD. Earlier, the group had demonstrated that transgenic An. gambaie expressing the […]

U.S. National Academy of Science’s Report on Gene Drive Research

The United States National Academy of Sciences published a report entitled Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values recently.  The report was written by the Committee on Gene Drive Research in Non-Human […]

Phosphorothioate oligomers increase knock-in frequency and precision in TALEN- and Cas9-mediated genome editing

In a recent paper by Renaud et al. (2016), the authors investigate methods to increase genome editing knock-in efficiency by modifying the chemistry of the donor oligomers to be resistant to nuclease activity. The modifications they tested included locked nucleic […]

Animal and Insect Transgenics – Parallels

James Murray and Elizabeth Maga recently recounted briefly the development and evolution of animal transgenic technologies in a recent issue of Transgenic Research and the similarities and differences between the development and evolution of insect transgenic technologies, which were ongoing […]

Enhancing Homology Repair-Mediated Genome Editing

In a recent paper in Nature Biotechnology, Richardson et al (2016) report on the interaction of target-site bound Cas9 and dCas9 on DNA strand accessibility- and have identified an optimized approach to increase homologous recombination (HR) mediated repair. They found […]

Cas9-Mediated Gene-Drive In Mosquitoes

Gantz and Bier who demonstrated the fundamental principles of a Cas9-based gene drive system using Drosophila melanogaster in a publication earlier this year have recreated that system in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi with the help of collaborators.  Gantz et al. […]

Sawfly and Ladybird Beetle Gene Editing

Hatakeyama et al (2015) have successfully used gene editing technology in Athalia rosae (sawfly) and Harmonia axyridis (ladybird beetle), enlarging the range of insects in which these technologies have been applied.  These results are reported in Insect Molecular Biology. Hatakeyama […]

CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing in Papilionid Butterflies

Li et al (2015) recently published an exciting paper on butterflies genomics and functional genomics . Li et al have worked towards producing high quality genomes for extremely heterozygous and closely related butterflies P. xuthus and P. machaon. Further, they […]

Cas9 Gene Drive & Classical Biological Control

Webber et al have published an Opinion essay in PNAS concerning the growing interest in using engineered endonucleases (Cas9 in particular) to create gene drive systems to combat invasive species. Homing endonucleases are well known and well studied site-specific endonucleases […]

Powerful Genetic and Genomic Toolbox of Nasonia Wasps

Jeremy Lynch (2015) has published a nice overview of the genetic/genomic tools currently available for Nasonia species. Insects in the order of Hymenoptera are emerging as new genetic and genomic tools for evolutionary biology, development, and behavioral ecology. Among over […]

Short Course on Insect Genetic Technologies – August 2015

The Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network is offering a short course on insect genetic technologies August 17-21, 2015. Today there are myriad technologies for modifying genomes. Technologies are emerging rapidly and it is a challenge for investigators to keep […]

CRISPR-Cas9 mediated “Mutagenic Chain Reaction”

A recent paper in Science by Gantz and Bier (2015) investigated the potential of utilizing the CRISPR-Cas9 system as, essentially, a programmable homing endonuclease to generate homozygous loss-of-function (LOF) mutants. Advances in genome editing have allowed for the directed generation of […]

Exchangeable Cassettes Controlled by Endogenous Genes

Two recent publications, Gnerer et al. and Diao et al., address the issue of recreating the fine transcriptional patterns of endogenous genes with binary expression systems in insects. Binary expression systems are extremely powerful tools for controlled gene manipulation. The […]

Pulling Recent CRISPR/Cas9 Work in Drosophila Together

Xu et al. review the recent history of using CRISPR/Cas9-based technologies in Drosophila melanogaster. Within the last two years there have been numerous publications describing the use of CRISPR/Cas9-based technologies in Drosophila melanogaster.  These last two years have been a time […]

The Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC) – A functional genomics resource useful to all insect biologists.

The Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC) at Harvard Medical School was founded by Prof. Norbert Perrimon in 2003 to provide community support for genome-wide RNAi screens in cultured Drosophila cells. Now, more than a decade later, we are still going […]

Comparing TALE- and dCas9-Based Designer Transcription Factors

Genome editing with programmable nucleases using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) or RNA-guided clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) associated protein (Cas9) have become popular and important technologies. These systems can be modified to carry other functional protein domains […]

IGTRCN Trainees – Fall 2014!

The IGTRCN is working to diffuse knowledge and technology from those who ‘know’ and ‘have’ to those who do not but need to. The Peer-to-Peer Training Fellowships are intended to facilitate the process by providing modest resources to encourage interactions. […]

Delivering gene-editing proteins in vivo using a new strategy.

Delivering genetic technologies to appropriate cells at the appropriate times is, for many insect systems, the biggest obstacle to the widespread use of these technologies. Microinjecting developing embryos with DNA, RNA or protein remains the dominant mode of delivery in […]

Plasmids for Rapid and Versatile Genome Editing

As is the case for many other organisms, CRISPR has rapidly become the method of choice for targeted genome modification in insects. Much of the method development has been taking place in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, where, in little […]

Transgenic Underdominance: Pushing Transgenes into Populations.

Insect population replacement and suppression using transgenic strategies are being considered for insects of medical and agricultural importance. Rapidly increasing the frequency of transgenes in target populations after transgene release using genetic drive systems remains a significant challenge. Driving transgenes […]

“CHOPCHOP”ing with CRISPRs and TALENs: A New Web Resource for Genome Editing Design

With the growing influence and applicability of genome editing technologies, TALENs and more recently CRISPRs, offer genetic capabilities to an ever growing list of organisms. In turn, as more and more researchers become interested in using these technologies, a common […]

Synthetic Selfish DNA as Genetic Technologies

  Selfish genes are genes that can spread themselves rapidly within genomes and populations.   Think – transposable elements, B chromosomes, homing endonucleases, selfish sex chromosomes, genomic exclusion to name a few. Some are promising candidates for the genetic engineering […]

Insect Genetic Technologies Service Providers

Insect Genetic Technology Service Providers If you would like to add to this list use the “SUBMISSIONS” button and select “Knowledgebase” For insects other than Drosophila melanogaster Non-Commercial The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Insect Transformation Facility, University of Maryland […]

The Road Ahead for Using Gene Drive Systems

Emerging technologies have employed chemical, ecological and genetic strategies for effective and economical pest management. The various strategies around the transgenic augmentation of pests has shown great promise in being able to combat vector borne diseases and eradicate agricultural pests […]

CRISPR/Cas9 in Drosophila – Other Insects not far behind.

While genome editing technologies have been available for the past decade or so, until recently they have been challenging and expensive to use. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR/Cas9) system is changing all of that. This bacterial defense […]